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Not sure what I bought, please help...

Posted by Jen26 USDA zone 6/MO (My Page) on
Wed, May 4, 05 at 22:17

I bought the cutest little fern last weekend, but it was poorly labeled. It said something like "Dice Wood Fern" though I couldn't be sure. Any idea what this might be? I wish I could describe it but my fern vocabulary is nonexistent. I guess I could say it doesn't look like my ostrich fern, it is a darker green and the "leaves" are rounder. Also, if there is such a thing as a dice wood fern, what can you tell me about it's care and culture? It said nothing on the label. Thanks.

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Not sure what I bought, please help...

May be Dixie Wood Fern, Dryopteris x australis. A sterile hybrid between Log Fern, Dryopteris celsa and Southern Wood Fern, Dryopteris ludoviciana. Grows to 3-5' tall, reqires shade and moist soil, Some say hardy to Zone 5, others Zone 6 or 7. It is native throughout the south and as far north as MD. Photo on link below.

Here is a link that might be useful: Dryopteris x australis

RE: Not sure what I bought, please help...

  • Posted by KarinL Vancouver Z8 (My Page) on
    Tue, May 10, 05 at 10:19

If you could post a photo it would be easier... or get a fern book from the library, or look at the fern display at nurseries.

RE: Not sure what I bought, please help...

Razorback: Sorry I'm so late...just noticed your post.

Perhaps you have a Jimmy Dyce Broad Wood Fern (Dryopteris dilatata 'Jimmy Dyce'. This is an English cultivar; hardy to zones 4-8; broad triangular bluish-green stiff upright fronds; grows 24-48 inches. I haven't tried this particular fern, but they're quite handsome.

RE: Jimmy Dyce Fern

Sorry, Razorback. I meant to address Jen26 with my response re the Jimmy Dyce Broad Wood Fern.

RE: Not sure what I bought, please help...

  • Posted by Jen26 USDA zone 6/MO (My Page) on
    Sat, Jun 18, 05 at 14:29

Ladybugontario...that is EXACTLY what I bought! Thank you so much!!!!!

RE: Not sure what I bought, please help...

Jen26....Lucky you! I tried 4 D. dilatatas just last year, although they are not 'Jimmy Dyce'. All 4 are doing wonderfully well. Zone 5 - cold winters, pretty hot humid summers, lots of compost, water every 4 days, growing happily in the shade of a very large sugar maple. Their fine leathery foliage is a beautiful contrast to Ostrich, Marginal Wood, Royal, and 'Ghost' Athyrium ferns. Over winter, I mulched them heavily with finely shredded leaves. In spring, I opened the leaves up a bit to let the sun in, but mixed the leaves right into the soil where they had over-wintered. These ferns were the last of my many ferns to show new spring growth, and just when I was starting to fret, up they popped! Very tiny fiddleheads. Right now, they are gorgeous. Enjoy!

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